We're big fans of Monty Python around here (and really, who isn't?) and were reminded of their greatness when tickets were posted for a few shows featuring Python members John Cleese & Eric Idle. But rather than rehashing what makes Monty Python and the Holy Grail the standard by which all comedic films since have been judged, we're offering up 10 things you probably don't know about Monty Python. Or maybe you do, whatever.
10. Terry Gilliam et al., v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. (1976)
Monty Python helped bring about a piece of legislation relating to how performers and networks deal with creative works. In 1975, while Monty Python’s Flying Circus was still on the air from the BBC, the team attempted to stop ABC (The American Broadcasting Company) from airing a special edition of Flying Circus on American television. Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam went before the court claiming that ABC’s edits of their work, e.g. that the network stiffs had “cut out all the rude bits,” and caused the resultant sketches to be soundly unfunny. And while the duo didn’t get a favorable ruling in time to stop ABC from massacring their work on air, by showing the original sketches followed by the edited versions to the court, they proved their point and set a landmark legal precedent: creative owners of a project now have protected rights and their works cannot be butchered simply because of what network executives decree. In essence, the precedent protects the integrity of creative works.
It happens more than you might think: actors or actresses who decide they want to make a name for themselves in music - some successful, others not so much. Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, and Justin Timberlake are a few who made it. However, there’s another actor-turned-successful-musician who stands out. His name is Aubrey Graham, known to most of us as Drake. Why didn’t I mention him in the same breath as the others? The answer is simple, Drake’s work as an actor didn’t directly lead to a record contract, like his previous mentioned counterparts.
Weatherman Upset with LeBron No-Call Foul
This year’s NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavilers and the Golden State Warriors has been one of the best in recent memory. Game two last Sunday was no exception with the Cavs coming out victorious in a 95-93 overtime victory. Although they won the game, many Cleveland fans were upset when LeBron James was clearly fouled by the Warrior’s Andre Iguodala and the refs didn't call it. After the game, irritated Cleveland area weatherman, Mark Johnson felt the need to sarcastically teach the folks watching the news that apparently getting hit in the wrist no longer counts as a foul. His lesson even included a reenactment of the play; guess he really wanted to make his point.
Original image appeared as trade ad for The Band's single "Time To Kill" / "The Shape I'm In"; Billboard Magazine, page 19, 28 November 1970.
Mumford & Sons, indie folk-rock darlings du jour, are currently touring on their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour. Don’t get me wrong; I really, really like Mumford. I consistently enjoy the tunes they turn out, whether riffing on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (“The Cave”) or the earnest love song “I Will Wait,” Mumford & Sons have been a refreshing return to folk rock in an era of over-produced autotune and sampling. Much like Hollywood, it seems the music industry is struggling to actually turn out unique art, so folk rock luminaries are a nice change, and The Gentlemen of the Road Tour promises plenty o’ bluesy, folksy, banjo-inflected crooning. Joined on their tour by the likes of My Morning Jacket, Ben Howard, Jenny Lewis, The Black Keys, and Alabama Shakes, Mumford & Sons are taking their GOTR tour – now in its third incarnation – to a new set of small cities for a celebration.
Yet, however much I personally enjoy the tunes of groups like Mumford and My Morning Jacket, they remind me of the great debt the resurgence of indie folk rock owes to the "original" gentlemen of the road: The Band.